Allen wins mayor, Smith is new judge

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Skaggs wins circuit court clerk race over Burress; Marcum re-elected as county jailer

By Zac Oakes



The votes have been tallied in Taylor County for the 2018 general election, and Campbellsville has a new mayor, while Taylor County has a new judge-executive.

Approximately 54.6 percent of Taylor County registered voters turned out at the polls Tuesday, as Brenda Allen defeated incumbent Tony Young in the race for Campbellsville mayor, and Republican Barry Smith defeated incumbent Democrat Eddie Rogers and independent candidate Bobby Lee Phillips in the race for Taylor County judge-executive.

The third time was the charm for Allen. She and Young faced off in the last two general elections for mayor, with Young winning in 2010 as the challenger and 2014 as the incumbent.

Allen received 1,853 votes compared to Young’s 1,488, landing her a third total term in office. Allen previously served from 2002-2010 as the city’s mayor. 

In the county judge-executive race, Smith received 5,140 votes compared to 4,620 votes for Rogers and 212 votes for Phillips. Smith, a local businessman, has previously served on the Soil and Water Conservation District Board. 

In the race for circuit court clerk, the closest of the night locally, Democrat Susie Skaggs defeated Republican Adam Burress, 5,097 to 4,896. Skaggs will take over for the retiring Rodney Burress, Adam’s father, who has served as Taylor County circuit court clerk since 2005.

Circuit court clerks serve six-year terms as opposed to two- or four-year terms served by many other local elected officials. 

In the race for Taylor County sheriff, incumbent Democrat Allen Newton defeated Republican challenger Shannon Wilson in a close race, with 5,258 votes going to Newton and 4,635 going to Wilson. 

Incumbent Republican Eddie “Hack” Marcum defeated Democrat Nick Alsager in the race for jailer, with Marcum receiving a little more than 80 percent of the votes. Marcum collected 7,797 votes to Alsager’s 1,870.

The Campbellsville City Council will welcome five new members. Jay Eastridge led the field of candidates with 2,022 votes, while James Ewing came in second with 1,937 votes. Finishing third was Stan McKinney with 1,720 votes. While he’s no stranger to the council, he returns after being off of it for two years. Finishing fourth and fifth were Terry Keltner and Diane Ford-Benningfield with 1,600 and 1,487 votes, respectively. Dave Nunery finished sixth with 1,467 votes and council newcomer Ronnie Dooley finished with 1,442 votes. 

Rounding out the council were Donnie Munford with 1,422 votes; Dan Hayes with 1,375 votes; Faye Howell with 1,284 votes; Randy Herron with 1,188 votes; and Greg Rice with 1,166 votes. 

While there was a change in the county judge-executive’s office, each of the incumbent magistrates were re-elected to their seats Tuesday night.

The race for 1st District magistrate saw incumbent Republican James E. Jones defeat Democrat David Harris, with Jones receiving 1,135 votes to 415 votes for Harris.

In the race for 2nd District magistrate, incumbent Democrat John D. Gaines defeated Republican challenger Tim Newton. Gaines received 937 votes to Newton’s 712 votes.

In the 4th District, Zuel Yarberry defeated Terry “T-Bone” Hughes with Yarberry receiving 1,025 votes to Hughes receiving 550 votes.

In the 5th District magistrate race, Derrick Bright defeated Thomas “Red” Goff, with Bright receiving 1,111 votes to Goff’s 531.

The race for district judge in the 11th Judicial District Division 2 came down to Mike Hall, Jr. of Campbellsville and Jude Hagan of Lebanon, with the winner taking over the seat for the retiring Connie Phillips, who has served on the bench since 1994.

Hall came away as the winner with 11,836 votes district-wide compared to 10,938 votes for Hagan. Hall carried Taylor County by more than 4,000 votes by coming away with 6,537 votes locally, and he also narrowly won in Green County, while Hagan carried Marion and Washington counties.

Debra Hembree Lambert came away as the winner locally and district-wide for the 3rd District of the Kentucky Supreme Court. Lambert won district-wide in the 27-county district by garnering 95,463 votes compared to her opponent Dan Ballou, who totaled 51,137 in the district. Lambert also carried Taylor County with 4,925 votes compared to Ballou’s 2,373.

While incumbent Republicans State Rep. John “Bam” Carney and State Sen. Max Wise did not face any opposition on the ballot, a write-in candidate challenged them each.

In the race for Representative for Kentucky’s 51st House District, Carney defeated write-in Richard Steele in both Taylor and Adair counties. As of press time, the CKNJ did not have a full count of the number of write-in votes that were attributed to Steele. In the district, Carney received 12,174 votes compared to 2,366 write-in votes. Carney also received more votes in Taylor County, receiving 6,821 votes locally compared to 1,737 write-in votes.

Carney will remain in the seat for the next two years with the victory.

Wise also retained his seat representing the Kentucky 16th District in the Kentucky Senate, which consists of Taylor, Adair, Russell, Cumberland, Clinton, McCreary, and Wayne counties. He defeated write-in candidate Nicole Britton.

District wide, Wise received 33,447 votes compared to an unknown number of write-in votes district-wide. Locally, Wise collected 8,113 votes compared to 500 write-in votes.

(In the above-mentioned references to write-in votes, that is the total number of write-in votes that were cast, not necessarily the number of write-in votes cast for the certified write-in candidate.)

In the race for Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District, incumbent Republican James Comer defeated Democratic challenger Paul Walker in the 35-county congressional district and won easily in Taylor County as well.

Locally, Comer collected 7,062 votes to Walker’s 2,456. District-wide, Comer collected more than 68 percent of the vote.

In the race for Soil and Water Conservation District supervisors, the top three vote getters were Marion Howard, Douglas R. Underwood and Sophia Campbell. Howard received 4,754 votes, while Underwood and Campbell received 4,641 and 3,969 votes, respectively. Cole Bland finished fourth in the race, totaling 3,684 votes.


Marsy’s Law

There was much controversy circulating online about Senate Bill 3, a proposed constitutional amendment passed in the Kentucky Legislature this year commonly known as Marsy’s Law.

As a proposed amendment to the Kentucky Constitution, the proposal was forced to go before voters in the state of Kentucky to either vote “yes” or “no.”

The question before the voters read: “Are you in favor of providing constitutional rights to victims of crime, including the right to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and the right to be informed and to have a voice in the judicial process?”

In Taylor County, the amendment was approved with 4,780 voters voting in favor and 3,917 voting against.

As of press time, with 113-of-120 counties reporting results to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Office, the amendment had received 825,199 “yes” votes compared to 485,224 “no” votes.

However, a decision by Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate handed down in October states the ballot proposal “does not sufficiently state the substance of the proposed constitutional amendment.” Wingate’s ruling did not address the constitutionality of the bill, but his decision was solely on the ballot question.

Due to Wingate’s ruling, the votes across the state were tallied but they cannot be certified and the language cannot be inserted into the Kentucky Constitution until the appeals process has been exhausted.

State Sen. Whitney Westerfield, the sponsor of the bill, has appealed the decision. It’s unclear as of press time when the next hearing on Marsy’s Law will be.


Uncontested races

Several local races were uncontested in the election. Taylor County Property Valuation Administrator Chad Shively had no competition for his seat and received 7,327 votes. County Attorney John Bertram and County Clerk Mark Carney were also uncontested for their offices, as Bertram received 7,146 votes and Carney received 8,362 votes.

Taylor County Coroner Daniel Cook was uncontested and received 7,909 votes, while County Surveyor Donald Dabney received 6,786 votes in his uncontested race.

Shelly Sprague Miller did not face any competition in the race for Commonwealth’s Attorney in the 11th Judicial District. Miller received 6,543 votes.

In the race for 11th District Judge Division 1, Amy Sullivan Anderson was uncontested and received 7,073 votes.

Three seats on the Campbellsville Independent Schools Board of Education were up for election, but the incumbents did not face any opposition. Suzanne Wilson received 1,296 votes, Angie Johnson received 1,422 votes and Mitch Overstreet received 1,376 votes.

Three seats on the Taylor County Schools Board of Education were also up for election. The board will welcome one new member, Tommy “T.J.” Raikes, who ran unopposed in the 4th District for the unexpired term left by the late Tony Davis, who won election to the seat in 2016. Jan Burkhead was appointed to the seat until the next election, but Burkhead opted not to seek election to the seat. Raikes received 785 votes.

In District 1, Deanna Hunt was unopposed and received 802 votes, and in District 2, David Hunt was unopposed and received 1,363 votes.

Magistrates Tommy Corbin (3rd District) and Richard Phillips (6th District) were uncontested in the general election for their magistrate seats, receiving 1,200 and 1,540 votes, respectively.

The six constable candidates in each of the magisterial districts ran unopposed. In District 1, Tony Harris received 992 votes. In District 2, Carl Watson received 1,245 votes. In District 3, James M. Gaddis received 1,040 votes. In District 4, Scott Chelf received 1,035 votes. In District 5, Allen McDonald received 1,284 votes. In District 6, Rick Reynolds received 1,392 votes.


• All vote totals are considered unofficial.